FORMER Pontyberem RFC skipper Jonny Clayton claimed another major darts title on Sunday, by beating Australian Damon Heta 8-6 in the fourth PDC Players' Championship final in Bolton.

The 46 year-old - who earned his nickname The Ferret during his days playing as a scrum-half - had hit the headlines by winning his first television title in January’s Ladbrokes Masters Final.

Clayton, who works as a plasterer for Carmarthenshire County Council, had gone on to reach three out of four finals in the Super Series, and finally came through for the £10,000 prize title.

After getting an early break to take a 2-0 lead, he then struggled to find a double as Heta won three legs in succession - and as the two players then went toe-to-toe, the score moved to 4-4.

The Welshman hit a 10-darter for a break of throw, and moved 6-4 ahead with a leg of 13 - and Heta could only trade legs until Clayton sealed the title with an 11-dart leg, finishing on double 16.

Following a defeat in the first final to Joe Cullen, and to youngster Callan Rydz in the second final, before then falling at the quarter-final stage, Clayton’s triumph was all the more satisfying.

“It is all about confidence, and I am feeling very good,” said a Clayton, whose run to the final saw him notch wins over José de Sousa, Michael Smith, and then Gabriel Clemens in the semi-final.

“Sometimes when I feel like I’ve played badly, I’m still averaging nearly 96, and I had my chances (in the first two finals) with Joe and Callan, but that’s how it goes, I’m happy to have won one.”

The day had started with a routine 6-1 victory over Martin Atkins, and Clayton then posted the highest average of the day with a superb 109.6 in his second round victory over Andy Boulton.

This was followed by a 103 average as Clayton beat Rowby-John Rodriguez 6-4, before dealing with Jose de Sousa by the same scoreline, and seeing off Michael Smith 6-3 to reach the last four.

In the semi-finals, Clayton had trailed 4-3 to Germany’s Gabriel Clemens, but a strong run of three straight legs put him in command, before reaching the final with a 15-dart leg in a 7-5 victory.

Australian Heta had a great run to the final, seeing off David Evans, day three champion Raymond van Barneveld, Mervyn King, Peter Wright, Dirk Van Duijvenbode and Michael van Gerwen.

Clayton's superb form in 2021 means that he will now head into the Ladbrokes UK Open at Milton Keynes from Friday (5 March) as one of the favourites for the title - and he's full of confidence.

“My darts are going great, so the Welsh Ferret is definitely going to try hard to win it,” said Clayton, who had also won the World Cup of Darts trophy, alongside Gerwyn Price last November.

“My consistency is creeping up, I’ve certainly had a good start to the year, and I’m a great believer that if it’s your day, it’s your day - I'm feeling quite relaxed, and things are going well.”